Hancock Elementary School in San Diego is misinforming families who are pulling out of their school to homeschool, with some of the most outlandish misinformation this writer has seen in 39 years of representing homeschooling families in California.
Let’s start from the top. They claim:
Elementary school-age children are required to provide an affidavit from an accredited homeschool program, or an affidavit directly from the California Department of Education.
Answer: Wrong! Homeschooling in California is accomplished through the private school exemption contained in Education Code sections 48222 and 33190. There is no accreditation requirement, nor does the CDE accredit private schools or homeschool programs. The only affidavit mentioned in the private school law is the private school affidavit which is filed with the CDE annually between October 1–15.
It’s illegal to keep a homeschool child at home without proper homeschool curriculum, standards-based lessons, and direction from a credentialed program service provide.
Answer: Wrong! Home-based private schools offer instruction in the several branches of study required to be taught in the public schools. That’s it. Nor do the public schools have any authority over private schools except to verify the filing of the private school affidavit when there is a legitimate question of truancy. Section 48222 states: “The verification . . . shall not be construed as an evaluation, recognition, approval or endorsement of any private school or course.” Private schools do not have curriculum requirements, standard-based lessons, nor a credentialed program service provider requirement.
If you start homeschooling and later want to come back to school, we may not let you in because of loss of teachers and smaller class size due to loss of enrollment.
Answer: Intimidating! Public school law is not HSLDA’s area of practice, but Article IX, Sec. V of the California Constitution says that the state is compelled to provide common and free schools, presumed for all. It appears this is a tactic to cause families who are new and not sure of how long they will homeschool to reconsider.
Families who have not provided the school with an affidavit of proof of an accredited homeschool program would be subject to investigations from child welfare services.
Answer: Wrong! First, homeschooling families don’t submit proof of an accredited program. Secondly, the only authority the public school would have to turn a family over to child protective services is if they have suspicion that a child is being abused or neglected. Failure of homeschoolers to comply with the school’s illegal requirements, resulting in an investigation by CPS, could constitute a civil rights violation under 43 USC 1983. If you know of anyone who has suffered this fate, please inform them of this possible violation.
These misrepresentations are happening because many families are transferring their children from public school to homeschooling.
There is a legal way to do this which involves a notice to the public school where the child attended of the transfer of the pupil to the new private school.
HSLDA stands ready to help any family that is facing the issue of withdrawal of their child from public school to homeschool. Please make sure any of your friends who are now facing this issue view this information.